The National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (NDRRMC) has raised the death toll from the twin earthquakes which rocked Ibayat, Batanes to nine.

NDRRMC executive director Ricardo Jalad said the ninth fatality, who was earlier reported as a missing person, was recovered by authorities around 2:20 p.m. on Monday.

Meanwhile, there are still 911 affected families, totaling 2,963 persons residing in five barangays in Itbayat.

Of this figure, 805 families or 2,616 individuals are still staying in the public market and municipal plaza in Barangay San Rafael of said town. The number of injured remains at 63 individuals, the NDRRMC report added.

Moreover, the Department of Public Works and Highways pegged the damage left by the calamity at Php 282 million.

Some 15 houses were reported damaged by Saturday’s temblors, along with two health facilities and two schools.

Solons to prepare donations

The House of Representatives is now preparing to raise at least P1.5 million for Itbayat residents affected by the earthquakes and their aftershocks.

Majority Leader Leyte Rep. Martin Romualdez has urged lawmakers to give a minimum contribution of P5,000 each.

“The contribution may even reach Php3 million up to Php 5 million as some congressmen have indicated willingness to donate Php 50,000 to Php 100,000 from their salary,” Romualdez said.

Deputy Majority Leader Pangasinan Rep. Christopher de Venecia said that a signature sheet will be circulated so House members can indicate the exact amount of their contribution which will be deducted from their salary.

“I just spoke with the Speaker (Alan Peter Cayetano) about the Batanes fund drive. It (contribution) has been the practice whenever a district is hard-hit by a calamity, in this case, Batanes… This has been initiated for the benefit of the casualties’ loved ones and injured residents of Batanes,” said Romualdez.

The plenary also adopted House Resolution No. 139 expressing the “profound sympathies” and “deepest condolences” of the House to those affected by the earthquakes.

Romualdez also requested the Legislative Security Bureau to allocate a portion of South and North Wing Lobbies of the Batasan Complex for the collection and storage of donated goods from congressmen and House employees.

The donated goods will be turned over to Batanes Rep. Ciriaco Gato, Jr. for distribution to appropriate agencies which are tasked to bring them to the country’s northernmost province.

The lawmaker called the public to send their donation through Gato’s Chief of Staff, Atty. Rachel Derigay, who may be contacted through mobile number 09985548060.

Gato has identified urgently needed items in Batanes which include: hygiene kits (sanitary napkins, soap, toothpaste, toothbrush, hand towels, etc.); wet wipes; mosquito repellants; reusable eating utensils; generator sets for water pumping stations; and portable toilets.


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